Jewish rituals aren’t just for Jews anymore.
Conservative Rabbi Jason Miller, founder of the Kosher Michigan certification agency in metropolitan Detroit, points out in his blog how prevalent certain Jewish traditions have become in non-Jewish America.
Quoting JTA Editor Ami Eden’s description of the hora at the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding, Miller suggests that Chelsea would have requested the dance even if she hadn’t married a Jew.
Debatable, perhaps. But then there’s the 87-year-old Catholic woman in Manhattan with mezuza envy. According to a recent New York Times article, she wanted one of those little prayer boxes left behind on so many of her neighbors’ doors:
[S]he often wished she had inherited a mezuza like many of her non-Jewish neighbors did. The tradition recalled her youth, she said, when her local priest appeared each Easter to write "God bless this house" on her family’s front door. To her delight, one of her Jewish neighbors recently hung a mezuza on her doorway. "Every time I come home and remember, I kiss it and touch it and then I bless myself, saying, ‘In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.’"
To cap it off, Miller points out that teen heartthrob Justin Bieber — not a MOT — says the Shema before his concerts.
None of this is a bad thing, Miller opines:
There’s nothing wrong with non-Jews eating kosher food, dancing the Horah, putting mezzuzas on their doors, or saying the Shema. In fact, it only shows how Judaism continues to transcend borders in the 21st century.